bangladesh june 28 2012Activists of 20 civil society organizations and rights group have demanded the government to increase the contribution of direct tax in the budget making corresponding reduction in VAT to protect the poor and the low income groups from disproportionate tax burden.

At a human chain held in front of the Jatiya Press Club yesterday speakers said in developed countries such as in Europe and America direct tax provides 70 percent revenue of the government while in Bangladesh VAT constitute 70 percent share of it.

It means that the poor and the common people are paying the lot while the rich are enjoying the benefits. The civil society activists raised the issue before the wrapping of the budget in Parliament and urged Finance Minister AMA Muhith to withdraw VAT expansion scheme on commodities and services to save the poor, low and middle income people.

They criticized the steady rise in government administrative cost pointing out that countries like.

India is working on serious austerity programmes while the ruling coalition in Bangladesh is only giving lukewarm services to such priority issues.

EquityBD; Knowledge Society, Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Coastal Development

Partnership (CDP). Development Centre Initiatives, Eventful Bangladesh Society, Media Foundation for Trade and Development, Prodip, SDO, SIRAC Bangladesh, UP Trust, Surrakha Foundation, United People's Trust and VOICE, among others took part in the rally. Mostafa Kamal Akand moderated the event. Syed Aminul Islam, Mahbub Hossain, Mohiuddin Hawlader, among others sopoke on the occasion.

The participants said VAT has been proposed on domestic production, imported goods and food grains, essential services on health, education and such other goods and services. It has been focused on small business. They criticized the government for failing to control the inflation saying increased VAT and soaring inflation are only adding to growing hardship to the people.

Published in The New Nation